The Philippine unit of Canada’s TVI Pacific Inc. has formally submitted the declaration of mining project feasibility (DMPF) to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for review and approval of its Balabag gold-silver project.
Cliff James, TVI Pacific Inc. chairman and chief executive officer, said that the filing of the company’s DMPF is an important milestone and follows on the filing of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) in January 2013.
He said that the Balabag project is “ready to go,” as soon as these documents get the final approval of the government.
“We have the funding in place, and we have completed all the technical requirements needed for approval. Once the documents are signed, we will be in a position to accelerate development of the Balabag project to the benefit of all stakeholders,” James added.
The ECC contains specific measures and conditions that must be met before and during the operation of the project. It also certifies that the company has complied with all the requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) system, and has committed to implement its approved Environmental Management Plan in the Philippines.
The DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has previously reviewed and endorsed the company’s ECC—giving its positive recommendation on the company’s EIS submission in first quarter of 2013—which is now under final review by the Mines and Geoscience Bureau in preparation for official signatures from the DENR.
The DMPF is a regulatory requirement including plans, documents and other certifications required in order to obtain approval from the Philippine government for the development of Balabag. An ECC is a certificate issued by the DENR/EMB which certifies that, based on the application, the proposed project will not cause a significant negative impact to the environment.
The approval of both documents will allow the company to commence construction of the mine, mill and related facilities.
The Balabag gold-silver project is located in the town of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur—approximately 75 kilometers east-northeast of the company’s Canatuan copper-zinc mine, which is operated by its local affiliate TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD).
TVIRD holds the MPSA covering the 4,779-hectare Balabag property and is authorized by the government to operate its gold-silver project in the area, which holds an estimated 1.78 million tons of mineral resources averaging (per ton): 2.34 grams of gold and 72.3 grams of silver. This translates to over 134,000 ounces of gold and over 4 million ounces of silver.
Before this development, the company received social license to operate via resolutions issued by the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur, the municipality of Bayog and all its 28 barangays. The company also earlier announced that it has secured low interest financing for the development of the project.
“With the necessary project requirements in place, we have reason to have a positive outlook on the forthcoming issuance of our ECC,” said TVIRD President Eugene Mateo.
“We draw confidence from TVIRD’s successful operational track record in Canatuan and wish to bring to Balabag the same successful business model, which presents inclusive benefits to all sectors,” he added.